Book #3 in the DI Bliss series, If Fear Wins, will be published at the end of May. It’s a complex investigation which directs the team to follow one specific lead, but Bliss has his own ideas. Multiple agencies become involved, yet Bliss builds a viable alternative and follows his instincts all the way to a conclusion not even he had anticipated.
I am currently in edit hiatus with my sequel to Scream Blue Murder. The first major edit is done, so I’m letting it sit in a dark corner somewhere so that I can come back to it fresh. I enjoyed it as I went along, and I thought it worked and came together quite well. There’s a large cast of characters, and a pretty complex storyline, but it feels like an easy read that hopefully provides the required amount of action and adventure for an action-adventure novel.
In addition, I’m also working on DI Bliss #4, and I am looking forward to having my sole focus on that for a while. I finally feel as if the whole thing is coming together when it comes to Jimmy Bliss. I think over the first three books I was introducing him as much to myself as my readers, learning more about him as I went on, whilst holding off on revealing information which would complete the back story over time. Now I feel as if I’ve started to wear Bliss’s skin, and that the revelations concerning his past in the next book will fully free me up to concentrate on where he is now as opposed to the events that led him there. If, indeed, he is anywhere.
Maybe I’m a slow study. Perhaps other writers also take this long to really understand their main series characters. Either way, to me it’s been a gradual process. Sure, I know how old Bliss is, I know his birthdate, his favourite foods, films, sports, music…etc. But knowing what he likes and knowing him are two very different matters, and although I have enjoyed writing about his exploits so far, this next instalment gets right to the heart of the man. I think I will be providing room for DS Chandler to step forward a little more, also. Should anything bad happen to Bliss somewhere down the line, or he decides to retire, I am hoping Chandler will be around to take over his mantle – though, not just yet.
I have previously alluded to Bliss’s wife, murdered by a fellow cop. Also to the issues he had both in London and in his first stint posted to Peterborough. All of these, in addition to his equally chequered personal life, will be explored more fully in the next book. Bliss will be forced to confront the consequences of his previous actions, the guilt he still feels concerning his wife’s murder, and the lack of justice when it comes to her killer. How he emerges – or perhaps if he emerges – from this assault on his mental strength, will dictate what happens to him afterwards. Bliss’s life and career could go one way or the other as a result of the battle for survival he finds himself in. The only thing I know for certain right now is that neither will be the same again.
But that’s for the future. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy If Fear Wins when it is released, because both DI Bliss and DS Chandler are challenged in ways they have never encountered before.